Best of 2016

Best movie’s a hard call, especially as I’ve yet to see The Eyes of My Mother or Nocturnal Animals or Moana or Kubo and the Two Strings. Also? I doubt I’ve seen just all that many of the award-contenders either. But I did luck into a few good theaters/iTunes rentals/Netflixes:

Television of course is the one the whole world loved, then the usual (superhero) suspects, then a couple that should surprise no one, then a Netflix stumbleupon that was amazing, and one kind of outlier at the very end, which I so loved that only a video clip will actually do:

So cannot wait to watch #GreaseLive again. Completely blew me away.

Too? I should add that I don’t have cable, so can’t dial up Mr. Roboto, Westworld, all those. Also? I can’t figure out how to even get network, so I don’t get to watch basketball either. The upside of that, of course, is that I write novels.

Oh, and Negan: yes. More like him, please. He’s the Stefano DiMera of The Walking Dead. Which I guess kind of makes him the Axl of The Walking Dead. And without Axl, the band doesn’t even exist, right? You hear all kinds of story advice from all quarters, but one of the suggestions that’s practically become a rule—for good reason—is: build your bad guy seriously bad. It keeps things popping.

However, Negan’s not my favorite character from TV this year. That goes to Adrian Pimento, of Brooklyn 99:

[ that’s an animated gif, but it’s a half-stubborn one. you might have to click it to start ye olde loop ]

As for my favorite poem of the year, that’s easy:

[ click it to go there ]

My favorite short story of the year is “Black Bark,” from Brian Evenson’s A Collapse of Horses:

Though I should say also—as I say on her cover—a lot of the stories in Karen Runge’s Seven Sins, they flat-out blew me away.  Guess I should have done a story collection category here, instead of a single story. Oh well. Next year. Next year will be perfect.

As for my favorite comic, wow. That’s a task. I could slap a lot of covers up here—this has been a year where I’m at my local comic book shop every Wednesday.

Okay, time to start delimiting: only titles by people I don’t know, to make it feel honest. So, it’s between these two, I think—no, these three (actually four, surprise/no surprise):

Oh, and lucked into a couple of way-excellent podcasts this year. Can’t imagine how I ever did without them (well, one didn’t exist):

And? I’ve been having fun searching up images, trying to delay when I have to do the novel-category, as novels are far and away what I consume the absolute most of, but I keep terrible track, so always forget stuff that’s not from the last two weeks. I don’t know. This’ll be woefully incomplete. I’ll put a couple-three non-fics on there too. And I won’t include friends, again (though, as this is where I live and breathe, this means I know just about everybody, seems like. but I can’t stock this tank with only people I know—only people I don’t).

I’ll put the non-fic first, then dive into the deep end. Also? I’m seriously going to keep this short. Short-short-short. Because, talking books, I can get carried away very fast, such that the next time I look down, I’m in Oz:

Okay, know what? I can’t help but put friends up in this category. New rule: just because I know them doesn’t mean I can’t also like to read them:

Yet to read the new Megan Abbot, yet to read either Alex Marshall book, yet to read the new Molly Tanzer, yet to read the new Laird Barron, yet to read Adam Cesare’s Con Season (what am I doing with my life, right?). Yet to read either La Rose or Born to Run, even though I got both of them signed. Yet to read Hearts in Suspension (a King thing from a university press?), though I got it. Yet to read a lot—too much, actually, but that’s kind of the big secret to happiness, I think: having too much to read. At least it is for me.

Too, all these groupings: the movies are all over the place, genre-wise; television seems to veer towards the fantastic of some sort; comic books are more horror; non-fic is of course only stuff I’m really-really interested in; and novels are mostly horror. I kind of don’t suspect this is any accident. I will, for reading, always pick horror up first. However, what I’m reading as of today? Jim Krusoe’s Blood Lake and Other Stories from 1997, proving that:

  1. yes, I’ll pick up a book if it’s got “Blood” in the title

  2. no, I don’t read only horror (this is absurdist and hilarious and philosophical and so finely-wrought, like if someone confused John Barth and Donald Barthelme hard enough that they had to be the same person, but only write on story collection)

  3. sometimes it takes me nineteen actual years to get to a book . . .

Anyway, to wrap up a little: this year Mongrels came out, the werewolf novel I always meant to write but never thought I’d get to, and it found all the right readers, which is all a writer-dude can really hope for. This year I had a whole passel of stories come out in way too many excellent books to even consider listing them (though the covers are probably here). Thank you, editors, for letting me into your pages. This is the year I had a story turned into a short film, The Elvis Room, which’ll be clickable at some point, I’m sure.

And right now—well, ever since the first week of November—I’ve been working my fingers to the nub on a slasher that’s unlike any other slasher that’s ever been done, I’m pretty sure.

And just this month, this came out, which still blows me away:

As for 2017, I know I have My Hero and Mapping the Interior hitting the shelves (first from Hex, second from Tor). But there’s a mess of spoon handles sticking out of that big metal pot down at the canteen. Things are always cooking. Maybe the dinger’ll ring on one of them before 2018’s here.

Stay tuned. Stay golden.

Author: SGJ